Katie Britt proposes federal database to collect data on pregnant people | Alabama

Katie Britt, the Republican US senator from Alabama best known for delivering a widely ridiculed State of the Union speech in March, marked the run-up to Mother’s Day on Sunday by introducing a bill to create a federal database to collect data on pregnant people.

The More Opportunities for Moms to Succeed (Moms) act proposes to establish an online government database called “pregnancy.gov” listing resources related to pregnancy, including information about adoption agencies and pregnancy care providers, except for those that provide abortion-related services.

The bill specifically forbids any entity that “performs, induces, refers for, or counsels in favor of abortions” from being listed in the database, which would in effect eliminate swaths of OB-GYN services and sexual health clinics across the country.

The website would direct users to enter their personal data and contact information, and although Britt’s communications director said the site would not collect data on pregnant people, page three of the bill states that users can “take an assessment through the website and provide consent to use the user’s contact information” which government officials may use “to conduct outreach via phone or email to follow up with users on additional resources that would be helpful for the users to review”.

Britt introduced the legislation on Thursday alongside two co-sponsors: fellow Republican senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.

In a statement, Britt said the bill was proof that “you can absolutely be pro-life, pro-woman, and pro-family at the same time”, adding that the legislation “advances a comprehensive culture of life” for mothers and children to “live their American Dreams”.

Critics have noted that the database of “pregnancy support centers” would provide misleading information in an effort to dissuade women from seeking abortions. Axios noted that the bill would also provide grants to anti-abortion non-profit organizations.

The state of Alabama, which Britt represents, already has one of the strictest abortion bans in the country. After the US supreme court eliminated federal abortion rights by overturning Roe v Wade in 2022, the state banned abortion except in cases where there is a serious health risk to the mother.

Britt’s party is in the minority in the US Senate and has only a slim majority in the House. Her bill would need to be approved in both chambers and then be signed by Democratic president Joe Biden to become law, giving her proposal virtually no chance of making meaningful progress in the legislative process as-is.

The speech Britt gave to rebut Biden’s State of the Union was panned by both parties after she invoked a story about child rape that she implied had resulted from the president’s handling of immigration at the US’s southern border. The abuse actually occurred years earlier in Mexico while a Republican was president, George W Bush.

Britt’s delivery – which oscillated between smiling and sounding as if she were on the verge of tears – was also a target of ridicule, though she defended her performance.

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